Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue
Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue

Gender: Male
Age: Senior
Height/Weight: na / 60 lbs
House-trained: Yes
Fenced yard required: tbd
Location: SE Michigan
Foster Home: Wil and Theresa
Treat-motivated: Yes
Toy-motivated: No
Likes Car Rides: Yes
Good with cats: tbd
Good with kids: tbd

It is with great sadness we report that GLBCR Hospice Dog and all-around heroic crime fighter Batman crossed the Rainbow Bridge in April, 2016. We knew we wouldn't have long with him, but as is always the case, it was not long enough. Much love and thanks to the Gallivan family for making sure the Caped Crusader's final days were all the best they could be. The Rainbow Bridge is a much safer place today.

Run free, Batman. May your dinner dish always be full.

Batman fell asleep waiting for more food. Sometimes dreams do come true.

As Batman's fosters we were very concerned about how Batman was going to do at the dog show. The fact of the matter is that he sleeps about 22 hours a day so we knew we needed to be on our A games as we planned for the show. We brought a dog bed for him, thoroughly expecting him to lie down. Batman however wanted nothing to do with his bed and our caped crusader lavished the attention and adoration of his fan base. It wasn't until the very end of the last day that he finally laid down on his bed.

As many of you know, Batman had an oncology consultation with Animal Cancer and Imaging Center in Canton prior to the dog show which left us very hopeful. After his antics at the dog show his foster family was optimistically awaiting results of the MPP (melanoma prognostic panel). The results unfortunately indicated that his outlook is more bleak than previously thought. The recommended treatment options would negatively impact his quality of life. After carefully weighing the facts and many lengthy discussions with GLBCR experts, we have decided to consider him a hospice dog to ensure comfort as he continues to fight crime.

So our Super Hero is now on a supplemented diet for cancer patients and will continue to consult with the veterinary team.

Batman made his first public appearance for GLBCR at the 2016 Michigan Winter Class Dog Show in Novi, MI. We were a little concerned that it might be to much excitement for the reclusive do-gooder, but in true superhero fashion, Batman rose to the occasion. Kids of all ages were thrilled to meet the Caped Crusader, and his foster family reports that meeting his fans put a spring in his step for days afterward. Here are some pictures of the display, and The Bat in action.

When Batman arrived, he was in pretty rough shape. His handsome black and white coat was badly matted, he was very overweight, and had the beginnings of cataracts in both eyes. More troubling, he also had an assortment of suspicious lumps, including two on his muzzle and one very large one on his right hip. He had arrived at the shelter as a stray, no one had claimed him, and no one had shown any interest in adopting him. Had GLBCR not pulled him, he would have never left the shelter.

The first order of business was a good grooming, which revealed Batman’s true identity -- a dashing Gentleman Border Collie who might be mistaken for a certain playboy millionaire. Next up was a trip to the vet, and a scheduled surgery to remove the suspicious lumps. The growth on his hip turned out to be a benign, but infected, lipoma. One of the lumps on his muzzle was just a wart. The other was a malignant melanoma.

Not the news we wanted to hear. Still, our hero was feeling much better – so much so that he even attempted a little adventure. His foster dad reports:

“Have you ever seen a child tie a cape around their neck and jump off the back of the couch? Well, Batman yielded similar results trying to jump off our deck. (For those that haven't been over it is just 3 steps.) What a myriad of emotions that stunt invoked. I was scared he had hurt his wound let alone himself. I was thrilled he is feeling so well that he felt he could pull it off but the real kicker was the look of surprise on his face that he somehow ended in a crumpled heap on the grass. He and I had a long talk about how one must say, "Hold my beer!" before pulling stunts like that.”

Since Batman clearly hadn’t counted himself out, we weren't going to do so either. A pre-surgery chest x-ray showed no signs that the melanoma had spread, so we arranged for a consult with Animal Cancer and Imaging, in Canton, Michigan. The news was cautiously optimistic; he will undergo a blood test called a “melanoma prognosis panel,” and if that comes back clear, we will follow with another chest x-ray and surgery to get better margins on the initial lump removal. Short of hearing that he was “cancer-free,” this is the best news we could get.

Once we have the final word from the specialist, we will determine if the Caped Crusader will be available for adoption, or spend his remaining days in hospice care as a GLCBR foster.